Council to field discussion

City will take a look at plans for artificial turf in Heritage Park area

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Steamboat Springs City Council members tonight will discuss the city's stalled plans to build an artificial-turf field in the Heritage Park area.

Plans for the field, which would be between the east side of Christian Heritage School and the west side of the Heritage Park subdivision, were sent back for staff review Sept. 6 after bids came in higher than the city expected.

The city had estimated the cost of building the field would be $250,000; the lowest bid was $492,000.

City staff recommends moving forward with plans for the field in part because they meet permitting requirements and the city has received a grant. The city was awarded a $150,000 grant last year from Great Outdoors Colorado.

Council members also asked staff to look at neighbors' complaints about the potential field.

Residents told staff they are concerned about the commercialization of the field and that it might be used for Triple Crown events, said Chris Wilson, director of parks, open space and recreation. He and other staff members are recommending that the council limit use of the field to local events. Other fields reserved for local use include the baseball fields at Emerald Park.

Residents also are concerned that there will not be enough parking for the field, Wilson said.

The city is asking the council to increase the project's budget to include amenities such as more parking and parking signs.

The city would be able to lease the land for the field for $1 a year. The Steamboat Springs Youth Soccer As--sociation also has offered to donate $50,000 for the project, Wilson said. The field would be open to a variety of sports, including basketball, lacrosse, soccer, football and kickball.

Wilson said that one reason the bid was higher was the increased cost of materials. Those prices will continue to go up, he said.

"I doubt that building this sort of facility will ever be cheaper than it is now."

-- To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com.

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